At Marshall Street, we believe every student should have the opportunity to live a fulfilled life. These core values guide our work:
Launched by Summit Public Schools, Marshall draws from more than 15 years of institutional knowledge and extensive experience in school improvement. We’ve built an ecosystem of programs that nurture, develop, and retain excellent, diverse teachers and leaders. Through our programs, we increase the capacity of our school partners to carry their work forward in the ways most meaningful to their communities.
The past year has been marked by growth, both in our widening partner network and in deepening relationships with those we serve. We’re proud of the important work happening across all of Marshall’s programs.
Together, our programs work together to put students first and they are rooted in the needs and strengths of the communities we serve. We build our programs to grow and be sustainable, so they continue to achieve impact for as many schools and communities as possible.
These principles underpin our approach:
Mira is focused on the exploration of new models of support for families within the public education system. She is the founder of Prepared Parents, a digital platform with 100+ tips and tools for parents to nurture their kid’s social-emotional and learning needs at home. Previously, Mira was an executive leader with Summit Public Schools where she developed equity-focused programming, led charter school growth initiatives, and launched a first-of-its-kind public/private partnership serving schools and families nationwide. Prior to Summit, Mira worked across several nonprofit and government sectors, including in the administration of Mayor Michael R. Bloomberg in New York City, and with the Arab American Institute in Washington, D.C. to support the civic and political engagement of Arab Americans. She is currently pursuing her Master’s in Clinical Social Work from the University of Texas at Austin.
A first-generation college student and a seasoned educator with over ten years’ experience, Nykeisha is dedicated to the vision of dismantling oppressive systems that permeate minority communities. Her desire to provide students with a type of holistic education — one that she was not afforded — drives her in her role as an Improvement Advisor with the NIC. As a young Black woman, she embraces her identity and the value of her voice. She graduated from Southern University and A&M College, the illustrious Baton Rouge HBCU, and began her career as an educator through Teach for America, where she developed her passion for education. Nykeisha is a lifelong learner who truly seeks to empathize and lead from the heart.
Adam is the Executive Director of Marshall Street and former Chief Academic Officer of Summit Public Schools. A lifelong educator who has taught and created educational programs in the United States, Indonesia, and Argentina, Adam loves working with fiercely-driven leaders who strive for an excellent and equitable system of education for all students. He also loves his two young kids and two old dogs.
Marco works with partner school networks as an Improvement Advisor at Marshall Street, bringing with him a decade of experience in education technology, classroom teaching, and nonprofit operations. Prior to this role, Marco managed technical services at Houghton Mifflin Harcourt and was a Curriculum Developer at Summit Public Schools. Marco holds a Masters in Education from Stanford University and a Bachelor’s in English Literature from the University of California, Berkeley.
Arlette comes to Marshall with a decade of experience in nonprofit partnerships, enrollment, and school operations. She is an MA Candidate at the Broad Center in Urban Education and holds an MBA from USC. Prior to Marshall, Arlette was most recently at Aspire Public Schools and the Oakland Unified School District. She began her career at the AIDS Healthcare Foundation and earned a Bachelor’s in Sociology and Spanish from Amherst College.
Born in South Korea and raised in California, Sunli credits her K-12 and postsecondary educational experience in the Bay Area for her desire to stay and teach. After pursuing English literature as an undergraduate at Stanford University, she obtained her teaching credential through the Stanford Teacher Education Program (STEP) and taught high school English for four years at Summit Rainier. Today, Sunli serves as a mentor on the Teacher Residency team and is excited to welcome more aspiring teachers into the profession.
Pam has over 15 years of experience in education as a teacher, school leader, and instructional coach. Since 2014, Pam has successfully led the development of Summit programs that serve as pipelines and preparation into teaching. Pam holds a Bachelor’s degree from the University of California, San Diego, a Master’s in Education and a teaching credential from Stanford University, and a Master’s in Educational Leadership and an administrative credential from the University of California, Berkeley. Pam spends her free time dancing, baking, and playing outside with her two children.
A veteran Special Educator and Structured Literacy Teacher, Stephanie brings her classroom expertise to her work every day as the Director of Improvement Programs at Marshall. Previously, she served as a K-5 Resource Specialist and Lead Teacher in San Ramon Valley Unified School District, where she was also a Board-appointed voting member of the Community Advisory Committee. Before that, Stephanie worked as an Education Specialist at Aspire Public Schools. Outside of work, Stephanie is passionately involved with the Junior League of Oakland-East Bay and currently serves on its Board of Directors.
Heather is an Executive Assistant, supporting all facets of Marshall Street, including the Executive Director, Adam Carter. She enjoys taking the day-to-day parts of her job and making them creative and personal — really taking care of her team. Outside of work, she continues to feed her creative muse by being an active member of the Bay Area Theater Community.
Greg Ponikvar is the founding Executive Director of the Marshall Leadership Institute at Marshall Street, and the moderator of the Leadership Fellows Program. Greg received his Master of Arts in Education and teaching credential from Stanford University. He was a founding History Teacher at Everest Public High School, where he earned his National Board Certification. Greg then founded the Summit Expeditions Program, where he led a team of teachers offering elective, enrichment, and passion-exploration courses across the Summit Public Schools network of schools in California. He then moved to Tacoma, Washington to be the founding principal of Summit Olympus High School, which was among the first public charter schools’ in the state to graduate a diverse group of students with a 100% college acceptance rate. Now, Greg dedicates his time to building scalable solutions to problems facing the training and retention of a set of high-quality and diverse school leaders through the Marshall Leadership Institute.
Molly brings 10 years of experience in education to her work leading the Bay Area region of the Teacher Residency. She has led programs to train and support new educators since 2013 and collaborated on the design and launch of the Residency program at Summit in 2016. She holds a Master’s in Learning and Organizational Change from Northwestern University and a Bachelor’s in Child Development and Community Health from Tufts University. In her free time, you’ll find Molly exploring the Bay, traveling to new places, and enjoying time with family and friends.
As an experienced secondary Math Teacher, a founding Mentor of the Marshall Teacher Residency, and a former leader at Summit K2 High School, Mark brings a diversity of experience to his work as an Improvement Advisor with the NIC. Mark holds a Master’s degree in Education with an emphasis in Curriculum from California State University East Bay, and a Bachelor’s in Business Administration from the University of California, Berkeley. Outside of his work in education, Mark enjoys playing music, cooking, and spending time with friends and family.
As the Director of Development for Summit Public Schools, Wilita brings experience in development, finance, and program management. Additionally, Wilita serves on several nonprofit boards to advise, consult, and execute services to support holistic education and the development of youth within marginalized communities nationally and internationally. Wilita received his Bachelor’s degree in Political Science from Fresno State University and later earned a Master’s degree in International Studies from the University of San Francisco. Whether playing soccer, building puzzles, or reading with his two girls, he loves engaging in activities that contribute to their holistic wellbeing.
A former Special Education teacher and Site-Based Research Manager, Giovanna is an Improvement Advisor collaboratively working alongside CMOs as they launch new initiatives of research-based practices to increase positive outcomes for students in Special Education. She joined Summit in 2014 and holds a Bachelor’s in Elementary and Special Education and is currently working towards a Master’s in Curriculum, Instruction, and Assessment. Outside of work, she enjoys spending time with family and friends.
With a Bachelor’s in Psychology and Behavioral Science and Master’s in Urban Education, Ashley holds a decade of experience in the field of education, which includes teaching 6th, 7th, and 8th Grade ELA and History and 9th Grade Ethnic Studies. She has also found joy in coaching and mentoring residents and teachers. Ashley believes that all students can succeed at high levels, and that all educators should have the tools and support necessary to provide students with the quality of education that they deserve. In her spare time, Ashley enjoys writing, cooking, and spending quality time with family and friends.
Kelly Smith joined the Summit Learning Teacher Residency Team in July 2018 as the Recruitment Manager. Prior to Summit, Kelly spent over 10 years in the education industry managing and developing recruitment activities for various organizations and districts throughout Northern California. A Bay Area native, Kelly holds a Bachelor’s degree in Organizational Leadership from Chapman University.
For the past 5 years, Cat has led cross-sector partnerships between educational institutions and private organizations — at Y Combinator’s education technology investment arm and San Jose’s metropolitan chamber of commerce. Across the various positions she’s held, her theory of change has remained constant — to bring more resources and talent to the education sector to provide students, especially those from underprivileged backgrounds, more learning opportunities. Cat grew up in Houston, Texas and holds a B.S. in Business Administration with an emphasis on Social Entrepreneurship and a B.A. in East Asian Languages and Cultures with an emphasis on Mandarin Chinese from the University of Southern California. In her free time, Cat stays involved in the community with various local campaigns and Asian American creative writing groups.
Marshall Street Initiatives is a division of Summit Public Schools, based in Redwood City, California. We strive to grow a diverse and passionate team of professionals dedicated to creating educational opportunities for all students.